Farmers to end 10-day agitation with Bharat Bandh on Sunday
Farmer organisations on Friday announced Bharat Bandh on Sunday to mark the end of their 10-day agitation that started on June 1Updated: Jun 08, 2018 19:40 IST
Farmer organisations on Friday announced Bharat Bandh on Sunday to mark the end of their 10-day agitation that started on June 1 even as sporadic protests continued in UP, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
The ‘Gaon Bandh’ agitation was called to seek farm loan waiver, free power, and implementation of the Swaminathan committee that recommended 50% profit to farmers for their produce. However, it lost steam after few days as the bid of farmer organisations to block transport of milk and other essential items to cities was thwarted by police.
Bharatiya Kisan Union Madhya Pradesh general secretary Anil Yadav admitted the impact of the strike was not as expected in MP, and blamed the fear of the police for its failure. “The farmers do not want to get into the wrong books of police. Thousands have been forced to sign bonds of ?25,000 and BJP workers among the farmers and members of the RSS-backed Bharatiya Kisan Sangh were active in sabotaging the strike,” he said.
Yadav said to make the bandh a total success there will be a Bharat Bandh on June 10 in which there will be no movement of any goods from villages to towns. Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh president Shiv Kumar Sharma said they will work to make the June 10 bandh a success. “We have given call for a Bharat Bandh and asked all those living in 6 lakh villages of the country not to supply anything in the towns. We have also requested traders to keep their shops closed till 2pm in our support,” he said.
Sharma said the biggest achievement of the strike was that despite provocation from the administration, the movement was peaceful. “They threatened farmers, made them sign bonds, and were looking for an excuse to give this movement a bad name, but failed,” he said, adding the impact was not as successful as expected.
In a bid to support the call, the Congress in Gujarat announced its support for ongoing farmer protest seeking farm loan waiver, saying the Vijay Rupani government was in its three-day annual chintan shivir (brainstorming session) in Vadodara, and was not thinking about farm distress. “The BJP government holds agricultural festival every year but, in reality, it has not addressed the real issues concerning farmers. Be it the right prices or expansion of irrigation network, the government has failed on all fronts,” said Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani.
On the first day of the Congress-backed agitation, farmers threw vegetables and spilled milk on roads, mostly in Saurashtra, central and north Gujarat. In Keshod town of Junagadh district, the party observed a day-long bandh. “On last day (Sunday) of the drive, there will be dharnas and hunger strike,” Dhanani added.
In UP’s Amroha, farmers threw tomatoes on road as part of the agitation and announced that they will not allow movement of any goods on June 10.